Monday, July 5, 2010

The Bible on Humor

Humor is a part of life. We find it at work and school, in our homes and church, in the media. Some of the humor is good. Some of it is not. So how do we tell the difference?

Before we dive into specific principles, let’s look at what the Bible says in general about humor and the laughter it evokes:

Ecclesiastes 3:4 “A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.”

While laughter and humor are not appropriate at all times, there is a definite place for them in our life, and without them our lives would be unbalanced.

Proverbs 17:22 “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Laughter is healthy, a gift from God for us to enjoy. And humor supplies us an opportunity to laugh.

Proverbs 14:13 “Even in laughter the heart my ache, and joy may end in grief.”

However, we can also hide behind humor, to avoid being vulnerable, especially when we are hurting.

Ephesians 5:4 “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”

And like any gift from God, humor can be twisted and corrupted, which is never good.

Luke 6:21b “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”
Psalm 126:5-6 “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.”

Though we will face seasons of grief, God intends the ultimate end to be laughter and joy. And where there is laughter and joy, I imagine at least some glints of humor will also be. For while joy is not equal to laughter and humor, is it truly joy if it is completely and always humorless and without laughter?

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